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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Rickrolling Good Time

submitted by Deena

Apparently this phenomenon has been around for about a year, but I've only just been exposed to it in the past few weeks. Just in case I'm not the last to know...

British pop/soul singer Rick Astley and his 1987 single, "Never Gonna Give You Up," have been the subject of a big fat internet prank now known as "Rickrolling."

It's a simple bait and switch: a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to the Astley video for "Never Gonna Give You Up." The URL, or in some cases the video preview thumbnail, is often disguised so the user can't determine the true source of the link without clicking (and, of course, satisfying their curiosity).

As of this month, approximately 18 million people have been Rickrolled, according to SurveyUSA. In fact, this April Fool's Day, all the videos on the front page of YouTube were Rickrolls.

Rickrolling can also mean playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive, which I just experienced this weekend after being subjected to it three times in a row on a jukebox. No one is safe--12,000 baseball fans got rickrolled last Saturday during the Reds-Pirates game at PNC Park when four fans performed a cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up" in a team-sponsored American Idol competition, which was shown on the Jumbotron between innings.

This is totally the best thing to happen to Rick Astley since he was nominated for Best New Artist at the 1989 Grammies. A whole new generation are now singing his song. Even Astley's former record company, RCA Records, is planning to release a Greatest Hits album, thanks in part to the Rickroll craze.

So go spread the Rickroll love! Here's a good one--this video of Beaker was originally tagged as rare Muppet Show bloopers on fark.com, but well...watch and learn.

YouTube: The Beaker Rickroll

1 comment:

Scott said...

I enjoy this phenomenon. Rick Astley is delightful!

Never Gonna Give You Up was the last LP I ever bought. Actually, my grandmother bought it, but I'll claim ownership for the purposes of this story.